Ticket scalping is the act of buying tickets in an automated manner, using bots (scalper bots) to later resell them for an increased price. Ticket scalping is often considered an unfair practice by many people because this automatically excludes a lot of people from being able to attend the event/concert.
How ticket scalping works
Ticket scalpers use so-called “scalper bots” to buy as many tickets as possible for certain events on certain dates. The tickets are mostly bought at official ticket sale websites so they don’t raise any suspicion and it’s hard to tell who made the initial purchase and if they were truly intending to go or not. Once this phase is completed, the bots will keep buying more and more tickets until all capacity is taken up. This can result in huge waiting lists. The tickets are then sold at a higher price to make up for the initial cost, which can go as high as 1,200%.
How to stop ticket scalping on your website
There are several ways to fight ticket scalping:
- Putting a limit on the maximum amount of tickets one person can buy, even if they use multiple accounts to do so. This is because it’s impossible for one person to attend an event with multiple people all by themselves and this will ensure that a lot more people will be able to buy a ticket in case there’s high demand. Of course, this only works when you’re selling more than 1 ticket per purchase (otherwise scalpers can just create multiple accounts) and requires a thorough registration process.
- Using CAPTCHA’s to prove that the user is really a human and not a bot, especially when there are hundreds or thousands of people trying to buy one ticket at once.
- Making the purchase process as long and complicated as possible so scalpers will give up in frustration.
- Requiring an account on the actual event website to be able to buy tickets for that specific event, which will make it very hard for scalpers since they’re not allowed to buy hundreds of tickets per person without raising suspicion.
- Selling a smaller amount of tickets at first and then gradually increasing the ticket limit as time goes by, which will make it impossible for scalpers to buy up all the tickets quickly and ensures that a certain number of people will be able to buy a ticket in case there’s high demand.
Frequently Asked Questions about ticket scalping
How can I spot a ticket scalper?
Here are a few signs that tickets might have been scalped: The tickets were very cheap in the first place. There’s a huge waiting list to buy a ticket and it was already sold out when you got there, even though the event isn’t for several months yet. If you’re buying more than one ticket at once or from different people. Spectacularly long foreign names/addresses when you ordered through an official ticket sale website.
What should I do if I think tickets have been scalped?
Report the ticket as a fraud on the website you bought it from and make a fraud report. If your bank is involved, they will be able to help you with that.
You could also try to cancel the transaction with your credit card company, but this might take a while.
Is ticket scalping illegal?
Yes and no. In some places it’s illegal to resell tickets above a certain price limit or if you don’t have a business license for that kind of trade, in others it isn’t. It varies between countries and states/provinces so it’s best to check whether ticket resale is legal or not before engaging in this type of business.